Sunday, June 1, 2014
It's been a while since I have made any entry on this blog ... and I usually don't do movie reviews, but here we go anyway. (Warning ... if you haven't seen the movie there are spoilers below.)
Maleficent is based on the 1959 Disney Classic, Sleeping Beauty and the character is one of the iconic Disney villains ... or is she?
To be honest - excluding the storyline itself, the inconsistencies really weren't as numerous as I had expected. In fact, other than the one above, only a few really stuck in my craw.
The first was the naming of the three fairies who were to raise Aurora. In the animated feature they are named Flora, Fauna and Merriweather. In this version they are Thistletwit, Flittle and Knotgrass. I know that this is a small thing and I can even understand why they were named this way here, but I think it would have been a nice shout out to the original Disney creations to use the original Disney names.
Yet, having said that, Maleficent carries her well known iconic name right from the beginning. Of course, you say, but at the beginning of this movie she is a kind hearted, happy and friendly fairy ... a far cry form the malicious creature we have all come to know. Malicious .... Maleficent ... see what I mean? The very name means evil, so why was this sweet young fairy given that name which denotes everything she wasn't ... yet? Perhaps it was a name she could have adopted later?
But those are the inconsistencies that could have been eliminated without affecting what the movie was trying to accomplish. The rest of the departures from what Disney set down in 1959 were needed for this new view of what happened, and as long as you don't insist on complete adherence to canon, you can accept the revised facts.
From the above comments, however, you may have decided that I didn't like the movie. On the contrary, I surprised myself by liking it more than I had expected. It was hard not to ... Angelina Jolie was such a magnificent Maleficent! The movie did contain the necessary iconic characters from the animated feature ... the three fairies, the raven (with a much expanded role) and the dragon, so you won't get cheated there.
Maleficent will continue to be a classic Disney villain and her section won't soon be moved to the Disney Heroes side of the Magic Kingdom's parking lot - but this isn't your grandparent's Maleficent.
Go see it!